What role does the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management play in beach renourishment projects?
-- BOEM is tasked with managing the extraction of offshore minerals from America's Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
-- While the largest component of this extraction is exploration and development of oil and gas resources, the bureau is also responsible for "non-energy minerals" (primarily sand and gravel) excavated from the ocean floor. BOEM's Marine Minerals Program, MMP, is the only federal program authorized to grant access to Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) sand.
--To carry out this mission and enhance coastal resilience, BOEM has partnered with coastal communities, states and other federal agencies to help build coastal resilience for more than 20 years through its Marine Minerals Program (MMP).
-- The Bureau has authority to execute two types of lease conveyances for sand and gravel and other non-energy minerals from the OCS:
- Most common is that BOEM may issue a negotiated, non-competitive lease agreement for the use of OCS sand to a qualifying entity by a non-competitive negotiated agreement, which can only be used for obtaining sand and gravel for public works projects funded in part or whole by a federal, state, or local government agency.
- The other means is through a competitive lease sale in which any qualified person may submit a bid.
-- As stewards of these resources, BOEM ensures that the removal of any mineral resource is conducted in a safe and environmentally sound manner, and that any potentially adverse impacts on the marine, coastal, or human environments are avoided or minimized.
-- BOEM's partnerships with federal agencies, states and coastal communities enable the bureau to provide sand to restore beaches, wetlands and dunes, while reducing impacts of future hurricanes, nor’easters and long-term erosion on vulnerable property, infrastructure and habitat. In this manner, BOEM contributes to the nation’s environmental, economic and recreational well-being through safely completed, sustainable projects.
-- Over the past 20 years, BOEM has invested more than $40 million to identify non-energy resources on the OCS, conduct world-class scientific research, and lease OCS resources to coastal communities in need. Information from environmental research and resource identification has informed environmental assessment and leasing decisions concerning the use of OCS sand resources in beach nourishment and coastal restoration.
What stakeholders does the Marine Minerals Program collaborate with?
The Marine Minerals Program works with state geological surveys, state environmental agencies, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Defense, and dredging companies and contractors.